Re: Pacmakers and Tesla coils = bad??
Tesla coils, of course, broadcast EM. Depending on how you have your coil
tuned, this may cause currents, etc in nearby electronic devices. CMOS
logic chips are highly susceptible to arcing and can be damaged by high
voltages (which can be induced from a nearby Tesla coil).
If a person depends on an electronic device to live (e.g. pacemaker, etc),
who knows what will happen if you operate a device which could possibly
impair nearby electronic devices nearby. This is one of the reasons they
don't allow the use of cell phones on airplanes (they don't run many wires
through commercial airlines--they're too heavy, they use radio signals to
control the flaps, rudder, spoilers, etc). While it is true that 99% of
all cell phones won't cause a problem, the one that does could cause
hundreds of deaths. I suppose having someone with a pacemaker nearby a
Tesla coil wouldn't be as much of a newsworthy event (one person dies as
opposed to hundreds), but it is an unnecessary risk.
One more thing. Most people I've met who build Tesla coils (myself
included at one time) don't really realize how many frequencies they are
broadcasting at. This is especially true for people who use a simple
spark gap (as opposed to an oscillator). The only "horror" I am aware of
involing EM was a case of a man in a powered wheelchair. He was at the
edge of a cliff (or something like that) when his wheelchair suddenly
lurched forward and hurled him to his death. The cause was eventually
attributed to stray EM fields (and to a certain extent, improper shielding
in my opinion).
- A. Banerjee
p.s. I don't mean to get on my soapbox, but -- safety involves two basic
components: 1. understanding what you are doing (and what the device you
are operating actually does), and 2. common sense. Regardless of what you
use your Tesla coil for (this includes igniting flaming drinks), whether
or not you are being responsible depends more on whether or not you
unkerstand what you are doing, and application of common sense than
whether you use the coil to make the "biggest spark", "wow" your
neighbors, or even eo something wierd like ignite flaming drinks.
p.p.s. <spam_proof-at-worldnet.att-dot-net> is a legitimate e-mail address.
Please direct all comments/flames here. Many "spam" programs which send
you all of those wonderful "MAKE $$$ FAST ON YOUR XXX VACATION" ignore
addresses which contain "spam" or "nospam".
On Fri, 11 Feb 2000, Tesla List wrote:
> Original Poster: Terry Fritz <twftesla-at-uswest-dot-net>
> Hi All,
> I ran across a few interesting web sites that told of problems with
> pacemakers and electrical interference. A few of the better ones are:
> It appears today's modern computerized RAM, ROM, programmable,
> microprocessor, built in defibrillator, etc. pacemakers may be "confused"
> by things like arc welders, diathermy, x-ray, MRI, Shoplift detectors,
> airport security, etc. equipment that puts out powerful RF or magnetic
> My first thought was that Tesla coils beat all those interference sources
> So... we should probably be extra careful of people with pacemakers around
> TCs. The new devices may be much more susceptible than the older simpler
> pacemaker devices. No one with a pacemaker should ever touch the output
> arcs of a Tesla coil. The nerves may not feel all that RF current inside
> the body but it may easily harm a pacemaker!
> I would think a Tesla coil would be an excellent test bed for pacemakers
> and their susceptibility to nasty electromagnetic fields. It would have to
> be a lab grade device that was consistent. Perhaps a few million bucks
> from a government grant would help out defining how a Tesla coil could be
> used to rate such devices... Apparently, the new pacemaker's ability to
> deal with such emitted energy sources is a very big deal...